Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a story about garbage.

It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.

This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.

Continue reading Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

Spring paddling safety

Itching for ice out? We certainly are.

But spring weather can be fickle. Hitting the lake too early, failing to respect weather conditions or paddling beyond your skill level isn’t just risky — it’s downright dangerous.

We chatted with Paul Smith, Superintendent of Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, to get some top do’s and don’ts for spring paddling safety:

Continue reading Spring paddling safety

Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

Watching winter slip away is a magical thing. Snow is melting, temperatures are warming, and some of our fair-weather bird friends are returning.

However, Ontario is a huge province, and the arrival of spring looks very different depending on where you are.

Spring comes slowly in many provincial parks.

Every year people are surprised to learn that while urban areas may be in bloom, many provincial parks, such as Algonquin, are still covered in snow and ice.

This can lead to some unwelcome surprises and unsafe situations for visitors who are expecting warm weather and spring-like conditions.

Continue reading Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System’s Bloodvein River — a backcountry dream

This post was written by Northwestern Ontario Parks Planning Intern Kestrel Wraggett. 

We know that Ontario Parks protect some of the most unique and precious natural systems in the province, but did you know we help protect a nationally recognized network of significant waterways called the Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS)?

Continue reading The Canadian Heritage Rivers System’s Bloodvein River — a backcountry dream

Backpacker’s guide to the Coastal Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Jordan Welch and Bianca Goncz, Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Are you looking for a challenging, multi-day hike with spectacular views?

The Coastal Trail has it all!

Hike to rocky bluffs, traverse lush forests, and experience the power of Lake Superior.

This linear trail traces 65 km of Lake Superior’s rugged northeastern shore, offering an unparalleled chance to experience the wilderness and beauty amidst the largest of the Great Lakes.

Continue reading Backpacker’s guide to the Coastal Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park

10 ways to enjoy winter at Quetico

Today’s post comes from Quetico Superintendent Trevor Gibb.

Quetico Provincial Park is primarily known for its world class backcountry canoeing opportunities.

However, once the lakes freeze and snow blankets the forest, the park transforms into a wilderness winter wonderland.

Continue reading 10 ways to enjoy winter at Quetico

Master Chef: Ontario Parks backcountry edition

Today’s post comes from Will Oades, Discovery Program Educator
at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Eating in the backcountry should be no different than eating at home!

Well-planned and prepared backcountry meals can taste amazing, satisfy your hunger, and foster conversations about your long day of hiking or paddling.

Tasty outdoor meals are a simple comfort fix that can exponentially enhance your backcountry experience.

There are many meal options available, however, there are three important things to consider when developing your meal plan: caloric content, size/weight, and taste.

Continue reading Master Chef: Ontario Parks backcountry edition

Fall paddling at Restoule

Imagine. 

You put your canoe or kayak into the lake. The water is smooth and reflective. The sky’s a deep, dark blue, and the clouds are brilliant white. The day is sunny, cool and crisp, and the trees that cover the hills around you…well, they’re a stunning display of red, orange, and yellow.

There’s something special about paddling in Ontario’s provincial parks in the fall, particularly secluded Restoule Provincial Park.

Continue reading Fall paddling at Restoule

Backcountry basics: know your limits

You’ve heard about this fantastic new adventure through a friend, route guide, or Instagram. It looks kind of tough, and you’re pretty new to the whole backcountry thing.

Still, you don’t want to miss out, so you decide to go for it.

But as you start planning, there’s a little voice wondering if this is really the best idea.

Listen to that voice.

Continue reading Backcountry basics: know your limits

5 things I learned on my first hike-in backcountry trip

In today’s post, Ontario Parks’ marketing intern Megan Birrell recounts her first hike-in backcountry adventure. 

Last year, I tried backcountry camping by canoe for the first time. This summer, my camping crew and I decided to take it up a notch and try hike-in camping.

We selected Bon Echo Provincial Park’s Abes and Essens Trail as our hike-in destination and the planning began.

Continue reading 5 things I learned on my first hike-in backcountry trip